(RNN) – All new cars sold in the United States must now come with a backup camera.
The new safety feature took effect Wednesday, but has been in the works for years.
The U.S. Department of Transportation announced the requirement in 2014, giving automakers several years to get ready.
“This regulation by the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) will save lives and save consumers money,” Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety said in a statement.
“Rearview cameras improve rear visibility for drivers and will prevent needless backover deaths and serious injuries.”
Here’s how a backup camera works:
"When a driver shifts a vehicle into reverse, the RVS (rearview video system) shows—either in the dashboard or in a small display in the rearview mirror—an image of the area behind the vehicle. The field of view includes a 10-foot by 20-foot zone directly behind the vehicle. It’s important to remember that rearview video systems are not a replacement for mirrors or turning around to look; rather, they’re an added safety tool for revealing hidden dangers – National Highway Traffic Safety Administration."
Many cars made in recent years already come with backup cameras. There are also kits available to add them as an after-market item to vehicles that don’t have them already.
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